May 30 2008

Thank you Senator Reid

Posted by Steve Ross in Uncategorized

I’ve had some issues with the leadership in the Congress since they took control last January. Eventually, they figured out a way to work their respective legislative bodies in a way that is mostly in tune with the sentiment of Democrats, but it has, at times been a struggle, as Senator Harry Reid points out in this article at HuffPo. My favorite quote from the article:

“People think she [Pelosi] has a large margin, she doesn’t,” he said. “You add in the so-called Blue Dogs [conservative Democrats], she has trouble passing anything, because they are a pain in the wrong part of your body.”

That they are sir…that they are.

I just want to say to all those people who have busted my chops for being hard on Tanner, Cooper, and some of the other “Bush Dogs”, here’s your evidence. Certainly, we want Democrats whenever possible, but we also want the best Democrats we can get. To that end, give this a looksee, and if you can, drop Ed Fallon some coin to help build a more progressive Democratic Congress.

While you’re at it, give Steve Cohen some love too. He’s been great, both in the Congress and for Memphis the past 18 months. A truly progressive voice. If any Freshman Democrat deserves re-election, it’s him.

Update: Braisted beat me to the punch on this (by 11 min.) and has some commentary from John Spragens, spokesman for Blue Dog Rep. Jim Cooper.

May 30 2008

Meltdown

Posted by Steve Ross in 2008 Presidentials

I know I keep saying that I won’t write about this anymore, and if you don’t want to read it, then just stop now.

The more I watch the mess that is playing out in the Democratic Presidential nomination, the more transfixed I am by the terrifying slow motion apocalypse that is happening before our eyes. The ever shifting “win”. The attempts at pacifying through praise. The ever-lengthening display of surrogate after surrogate paraded across the stage, pleading the case of a candidate who has obviously thrown everything from finances to self-worth into what is quickly becoming a tragic loss. If there is has ever, on such a public stage, been performed a more thorough example of a Greek Tragedy, I do not know what it is. This is the most public, drawn out, and heart wrenching personal and political meltdown in the history of modern politics.

I’m watching this display of desperation, and trying to identify, both emotionally and intellectually, with both sides.

On the Obama side, this has to be the best preparation for dealing with the diplomatic madness that is Iran and North Korea that any Presidential candidate could possibly experience. Unfortunately for them, they are not dealing with a despot. They are dealing with a person who shares many of their same beliefs. They are dealing with a person who has held massive sway in the party that they both claim. It’s an impossible situation for the Obama camp. They have to do everything in their power to pacify, all the while trying to hold on to their momentum through the convention. That no one on their side has publicly lost their temper is a testimony to their discipline.

On the Clinton side, they see a candidate that had her mantle, the hopes and dreams of literally millions of Americans, stolen by a man they see as unfit to govern. Further, they see a candidate who represents the long hard fight of a generation of women. A promise, stolen once again, by a system stacked against them. There is no way to do this kind of anger and disappointment justice. It is an anger, thrust on a candidate (Obama) who just happened to be in the way.

The Clinton campaign has traveled the breadth of emotions over the past several months. From the early inevitability, to the stunning defeats in Iowa, S. Carolina, and Super Tuesday, to the desperate, yet slipping clutch on reality that they have today. I cannot imagine what she, and her most fervent supporters are going through, but I know the anger is real. Hillary and her supporters have chased the ever-changing promise of victory as bait, from worms and crickets to floaters and spinners. They have gladly altered their diet to suit the needs of the campaign, and each time, their dinner has been snatched away from them by a campaign that was better organized and funded. Now they are hungry, and angry, and disoriented, and any food will do (with maps from Karl Rove & Co. on page 5, nice touch).

The Clinton camp sent out letters to all the Super (or automatic) delegates. That letter can be read here. As she argues that the “will of the people should not be overturned by Superdelegates” she is pleading with supers to overturn the will of the people. It’s a classic “win by any means, even if they compete against each other” strategy that illustrates the depth of desperation.

No matter what happens on Saturday, Clinton’s supporters will not be satisfied. Satisfaction only comes from ultimate victory…a victory that is fleeting with nearly all the best-case scenarios. The question is, what will happen from there.

Back in January, I, and many other Edwards as well as Clinton supporters, accused the Obama campaign of being a cult of personality, a phase that would pass and garner no traction in the larger campaign. I was certain that Obama would suffer, as Howard Dean had before him, from something that would mortally wound his campaign, giving the nomination to someone else. I was right, just about the wrong candidate.

Hillary’s supporters have taken the early ugliness put forth by some of the less savory supporters of Obama and taken it to a level that I have not seen in any nominating process in my life. They have chosen to make this so personal, to the possible detriment of the party and it’s eventual nominee, to see their victory through. It is the Clinton campaign that is the cult of personality, intent on her victory at the expense of all else, whether it be shifting the metric for winning or blindly swinging to hopefully land the blow that will cripple the Obama campaign and ensure their success.

The endgame will not come on Saturday, or Sunday, or the Tuesday after. The endgame will not come for the fervent supporters of Hillary Clinton (as opposed to the Democratic party) until she is declared the winner of all. There is no concession that will be enough to satisfy them. There is no other solution, in their view. She must win.

The onus now falls on the candidate. Can she divorce herself of her ambition, in the face of a nearly impossible situation, to unite the party behind it’s eventual nominee…not her. That’s really the only question left. The answer will most certainly be long and tortured, it will be fraught with anger and dismay, it may or may not come quickly, but eventually, reality will sink in, and the public meltdown that was the 2008 Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign will have to come to an end.

That end may not be quick or pretty. There are a lot of different ways that end can play out. Some that take us well past the convention, and into the realm of another broken promise…that she will support the Democratic nominee. My biggest hope is that the nominating process doesn’t end like the 2006 Senate race in Connecticut with two “Democrats” on the general election ballot. The end result, in this instance, will be 4 more years of Republicans in the White House.

May 29 2008

What Happened? I lied a lot…but not on purpose…kinda

Posted by Steve Ross in Uncategorized

McClellan is making the rounds today on NBC. Below is his interview with Meredith on the Today Show. Tonight, he appears with KO on Countdown.

NBC White House Corespondent David Gregory is surprised. But considering the exchanges that Gregory had with McClellan, that surprises me. McClellan, in every exchange, did everything he could to NEVER answer contentious questions. From my perspective, he was clearly annoyed by his inability to answer questions asked, and I think this book is both a reaction and a reflection of that internal conflict. Below is video of Gregory talking about his perspective on the book as White House corespondent.

Ultimately, if this is McClellan trying to get some of his credibility back it’s a step, but only one, in a long walk. McClellan had to know what he was getting into, after seeing Ari Fleisher’s performances from the podium. His unwillingness to break with the President publicly before this book makes him seem more like a jilted lover than any kind of expert insider.

As Gregory says in the video above, the diminished role of the White House Press Office may have left McClellan out of the loop, perhaps for his own good, but that takes some wind out of his sails.

Another allegation from the book is that the media was too soft on the administration. Below is a video from Anderson Cooper, followed by Tom Brokaw.

I was looking for video from yesterday on the Today show but they seem to have removed that part from the interview. Here is a transcript of that exchange, in the absence of the video.

There’s little doubt that the assertions laid forth in the book have some truth to them, unfortunately, the administration only has about 8 months to weather that storm, and the atmospheric pressure has moved beyond battering the Bush administration. If any charges were to be levied against administration officials, we’ll probably have to wait until 1/20/09, there’s simply not the time, or the willingness to do anything at this point.

The issue at this point is using the revelations contained in the book to further discredit those who have suckled this administrations teat since the beginning (ugly visual). That includes John McCain. I can’t wait to do that!

May 29 2008

More Sexist Math

Posted by Steve Ross in 2008 Presidentials, snark

(Source)

The fuzzy screen grab tells a story. The story it tells is one of woe, unhappiness and further illustrates the latent sexism that math embodies. As you can see, by mangling the numbers appropriately, thanks to the brilliant decisions of MI and FL, the national popular vote tally, WHICH HAS ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING ON ANYTHING IN THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION OR THE GENERAL ELECTION, sets up a scenario where either Obama is up by 568k votes, or Hillary is up by as much as 164k. Math is hard, selective math is sexist.

There have been all manner of sexist math examples on the intertoobs the past several days. On the 25th, Jerome Armstrong of MyDD posted this little gem that includes the graph below.

Now, if you just look at this graph, it seems like Hillary, the red bar, is way ahead of Obama in SOMETHING. At this point it doesn’t matter what, just something. Unfortunately, when you look at the scale on the side, you see that there is actually less than 1000 units separating the two.

This is why graphs, as a function of math, are the sexy sexist. They have pretty colors and seem so simple on the face, until you see the gawd awful scale on the side and realize they signify very little.

There is going to be a lot more talk about math, and it’s inherent sexist properties in the coming days. There are people on all sides of the equation that will try to lure you away with seemingly simple scenarios that prove some presumptive presumers personal prophecy of politically potent proportions. It’s all just sexist math. Pay it no mind. Do not hook yourself to it’s lure. No spinner bait is that special.

Ultimately, it, all of it, is for one simple goal. Keeping Pat Buchanan employed. That’s what the lengthy Democratic nomination is all about, that’s the goal. Now as June approaches, goal realized, he can enjoy his vacation, only to come back and scream at us again in August.

Enjoy your Thursday.

May 24 2008

Buffet's Reality

Posted by Steve Ross in Uncategorized

Warren Buffett is one of the worlds most respected experts in the realm of “high finance”. He’s made himself, and his investors a whole lot of money over the years, and in a manner that is perhaps more responsible than any other money man in history. So when Buffett says the current recession will be “longer and deeper than many may think”, his words carry a weight unparalleled, except, perhaps, for those of the former FED chairman, Greenspan.

Here is the article. There are no specifics, but it’s harrowing considering who it comes from, and looking at the reality of consumer prices shooting through the roof.